3 Secrets to Retaining Top Employees

Jun 12, 2015

We talk a lot about how to recruit top talent, especially with employee referrals. But retaining those high-caliber employees is just as important.

In the movie, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Clark Griswold (played by Chevy Chase) is an exceptional employee at his Chicago firm. He is prepared, genuine and willing to go the extra mile. His boss, however, (SPOILER ALERT!) is a Grinch-like character who ends up ruining Clark’s Christmas vacation.

After a slew of comedic calamities, Griswold comes face-to-face with his boss and expresses his frustrations at work. With a miraculous change of heart, Clark’s boss teaches a very important lesson when it comes to retaining employees:

“Sometimes things look good on paper but lose their luster when you see how it affects real folks. I guess a healthy bottom line doesn’t mean much when, to get it, you have to hurt the ones you depend on. It’s people that make the difference.”

Currently, an avalanche of booming companies are striking -gold when it comes to employee success. Companies like Google, Facebook and SAS are now notorious for being excellent places to work due to their groundbreaking employee benefit systems. Unfortunately, not all companies have the extra funds needed in order to give each employee a mountainous benefits package. All employers, however, can put into practice these three secrets to retaining top employees:

1) Remember, people are NOT machines:

Many CEO, Entrepreneur and Managerial types are successful because they know how to find a need and fill it. Their brains work mechanically, they know what needs to be done in order to maintain a successful business-machine. At times, though, proprietors can get caught up in the mechanics of their business operations. Remember, people are not machines. If you want to retain your top employees, then make sure that you’re treating them like humans. Take into account your employee’s emotional needs. It will translate into success for your business.

2) Give your employees opportunities to grow:

Starbucks is an excellent example of a company that provides growth opportunities for its employees. Each and every Barista knows that he or she has a clear pathway to promotion. Promoting within shouldn’t just be a gimmick to get new employees, it should be a well thought-out process that enables even the most menial of employees to traverse the company trail, leading to loftier employment opportunities. People are willing to work harder for their beliefs. Promoting within inspires employees to truly believe in the company.

3) Provide a healthy working-environment:

A healthy working environment breeds efficiency. Give your employees space, nutritious foods to snack on (free of charge) and suitable work equipment. Think of your company like a human body, if the right nutrients and conditions are not available, eventually the body will get sick.

Retaining top employees is dependent upon the treatment they receive. Always remember the epiphany of Mr. Griswald’s Boss, “It’s people that make the difference.”